Hi Jennifer! Thank you for stopping by For the Love of KidLit to chat with me about THE THIRD MUSHROOM, the much anticipated sequel to The Fourteenth Goldfish. This sequel picks up with the same characters on a new adventure.
What draws you in to writing about the perils of middle school?
Perils, indeed! It’s such a time of change: your school changes, your friends change, even your body starts to change. It’s complicated and I guess I’ve never quite forgotten it.
You expertly infuse humor and heart. Is that a tricky balance or do they go hand-in-hand when you write?
It’s a balance for sure. Writing humor is much harder than it looks.
Does your writing involve hanging out with middler schoolers or researching their habits? Are any characters inspired by anyone in real life?
Let’s just say one of my kids is currently going through “The Puberty” (as Melvin would say) in my house.
You also collaborate with your brother, Matthew Holm, on two graphic novel series. Do you share ideas virtually or meet in person? This must be a very different process than writing on your own. Do you find it to be a nice balance?
We collaborate virtually. I live in California and he lives in New York. We do almost everything over email and use Dropbox. I love collaborating. It’s such a relief to have someone else as a sounding board when you are stuck.
What does your typical writing day look like?
Help get the kids to school. Plan to put on real clothes. Plan to write a chapter. End up sitting at desk reading Facebook. Have writer’s block. Have a snack. Feed the cat. Read something. Realize it’s it time to pick up child at school and I’m still in pajamas. Pick up kids. Feed them dinner. Go for a jog and figure out how to write the chapter. Come home and put on pajamas and write a scene. Feel guilty for not writing more. Plan to do better the next day. But do the same thing all over again.
About the novel:
“Believe in the unexpected” with this hilarious, heartwarming, and much-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller The Fourteenth Goldfish!
Ellie’s grandpa Melvin is a world-renowned scientist . . . in the body of a fourteen-year-old boy. His feet stink, and he eats everything in the refrigerator–and Ellie is so happy to have him around. Grandpa may not exactly fit in at middle school, but he certainly keeps things interesting. When he and Ellie team up for the county science fair, no one realizes just how groundbreaking their experiment will be. The formula for eternal youth may be within their reach! And when Ellie’s cat, Jonas Salk, gets sick, the stakes become even higher. But is the key to eternal life really the key to happiness? Sometimes even the most careful experiments yield unexpected–and wonderful–results.
About the author:
Jennifer L. Holm is a NEW YORK TIMES bestselling children’s author and the recipient of three Newbery Honors for her novels OUR ONLY MAY AMELIA, PENNY FROM HEAVEN, and TURTLE IN PARADISE. Jennifer collaborates with her brother, Matthew Holm, on two graphic novel series — the Eisner Award-winning Babymouse series and the bestselling Squish series. She lives in California with her husband and two children.
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3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE THIRD MUSHROOM, US Only.
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3 thoughts on “Q & A with author Jennifer L. Holm plus a giveaway!”
Great Q&A! Jennifer seems like such a cool person. Could you imagine having her as your mom? I would love it! I loved both of these books, and I just wrote in my review that she must have some magic in her, to be able to so accurately portray a middle-school girl! Probably helps that, in addition to never having forgotten her own experience, she has a child currently going through “the puberty” too 🙂 Also love her description of her typical day!!
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Agreed! And I love the honesty in her description of a typical writing day 🙂
The 14th Goldfish was great, and I have The Third Mushroom in my reading basket. Turtle in Paradise is one of my all-time favorite books–I just love it, as well as its predecessor, Full of Beans!! ❤